THE WRATH OF GRAPES by Leonard Wibberley


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Mrs. Searwood's Secret Weapon (1953) was gay and critical; this continues the crazy-dazy theme that is embroidered with crisp commentary on an articulate argument against the madness of current civilization. For the little Duchy of Grand Fenwick (5 miles long and miles wide) whose wine is its currency is hurt by American products and, needing money, finally elects to declare war against the U.S. (And being defeated, can then be rehabilitated.) But the declaration gets lost so, with no notice being taken, an expeditionary force of longbow soldiers under young Tully sets out, to arrive by sea when the whole country is under a nationwide civil defense drill. Through the vacant streets the Grand Fenwick force marches -- to kidnap the creator of the Q bomb and return to make the Duchy the master of the world. With the bomb as global collateral, the League of Little Nations is founded; with the Duchess' marriage to Tully, the big nations are forced to mingle peacefully; with the discovery that the feared bomb is a dud, the secret is kept so that wars may never ensue. There's a somewhat lengthy setting of pins to be bowled down but the bubble of a 14th century invasion and its aftermath has an attractive humor and wit. A well-fitting velvet glove.

Pub Date: Feb. 9th, 1955
Publisher: Little, Brown